Sports

Falcons trap rival Wolves in shutout

Falcon junior forward Kai da Rosa fights Coupeville senior Brett Arnold for position near the Coupeville goal early in the match on April 18. South Whidbey missed the ensuing penalty kick.  - Ben Watanabe / The Record
Falcon junior forward Kai da Rosa fights Coupeville senior Brett Arnold for position near the Coupeville goal early in the match on April 18. South Whidbey missed the ensuing penalty kick.
— image credit: Ben Watanabe / The Record

The taste of redemption lingered for the South Whidbey boys soccer team after beating rival Coupeville 5-0 on April 18.

South Whidbey controlled the game on offense, racking up 34 shots on goal, and defense. Coupeville did not get off a recorded shot on goal during the match.

Soundly defeating their island rivals made up for the Falcons’ stunning 2-1 loss to the Wolves on April Fools’ Day.

“It sent a message,” said Falcon sophomore Lucas Leiberman, who described the game as satisfying.

More importantly to South Whidbey, the victory helped shore up their spot as the Cascade Conference’s top 1A team having defeated both King’s and Coupeville this season and tying King’s in the second match.

“We dominated all thirds of the game: defensemen, midfields and forwards,” said Falcon junior midfielder Davin Kesler, who played his first game of the season after being sidelined with an injury. “We weren’t going to let them beat us twice.”

South Whidbey’s offense was in control early. The Falcons’ first shot came on a free kick inside the penalty area, about 10 yards away from the Wolves’ goal. Coupeville senior defender Brett Arnold slide-tackled Kai da Rosa as he drove with the ball toward Coupeville goalie Joel Walstad. Joel Gerlach and Emerson Robbins, South Whidbey’s co-head coaches, sent senior team captain Trey Adams to the ball for the one-on-one shot. Adams rifled the ball to the right corner of the goal, but Walstad dove and blocked the ball back onto the field for the first of 12 saves.

da Rosa continued to sprint down the field, beating the defenders and drawing them into the middle. That allowed the Falcon midfielders to run along the sidelines and cross passes to the center, giving strikers clearer shots at the goal, the situation that led to the first Falcon score.

Lucas Leiberman got low and lunged forward to head in a pass from the corner by senior Jaidin Jones in the 34th minute.

“I didn’t even think about it and went for the head,” said Leiberman, who also scored the final goal of the night in the 73rd minute on a deflected shot by da Rosa.

The flurry came in the second half, as South Whidbey led 1-0 by the mid-game break.

Jones scored on an assist by da Rosa in the 54th minute. Standing near the left goal post, he fired a rolling shot between Walstad’s diving hands and the post. da Rosa added to his season’s goal count with a score in the 59th.

Oliver Saunsaucie, brought up from his usual defensive position in the backfield, fired in a deflected pass from Bryce Auburn at the 18-yard marker in the 65th minute.

 

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